Many Office 2013 applications now feature a formal Start experience that provides quick access to document templates and recently accessed documents.

The Start experience is the default first view when you run one of these applications. But you can also access the Start experience later from File, New.

In Microsoft Word, the supplied templates include categories such as letters, resumes, faxes, labels, cards, and more.

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Hint: To bypass this screen once and just launch a blank document, simply hit Enter or press ESC. (The selected template type is blank document.)

PowerPoint provides an attractive selection of presentation templates.

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But the PowerPoint version is particularly interesting because these templates also come in variants which offer different color schemes and other design changes.

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Excel provides templates for expenses, personal money tracking, budgets, various lists, currency conversion, and more.

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Access has templates for a blank database, custom web app, and common database types such as contacts, tasks, and project management.

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Publisher offers blank publications in various sizes, calendars, business letters and newsletters, various cards, brochures, menus, and the like.

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And even InfoPath Designer has templates for various forms, though in the customer preview at least they’re not particularly graphical.

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Power users who wish to disable the Start experience and simply start an Office application with a blank document can do so in File, Options, General in supported applications. Simply uncheck the option titled “Show the Start screen when this application starts.”